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Hardik Patel

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Showing posts with label Search Engine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Search Engine. Show all posts

Friday, June 20, 2014

$50 million Google coding initiative targets girls

Google News

Teamare Gaston, 17, thinks she'd like to be a business journalist. But Google has other designs on her brain.
On Thursday, Gaston and 150 other New York-area high school girls will attend the kickoff event for Made with Code, a $50 million Google initiative with the simple and singular focus of bringing more girls into the coding fold.

"Our industry has lots of stereotypes, including the notion that coding means sitting at a computer alone," says Google Vice President Megan Smith. "We hope to show girls that coding is fun. But there's also the simple fact that supply and demand is not working. There are millions of jobs out there going begging."

Google's event, held at a hip Manhattan loft called Skylight Modern, features host Mindy Kaling (of TV's The Mindy Project), speakers such as Chelsea Clinton and a range of tech-savvy women bent on inspiring the teens in attendance.

Made with Code's mission is anchored by a websitegirls can use basic coding technique to make bracelets and other items; Google also will dole out grants to host girl-coding parties at Girl Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs around the country, as well as fund a range of marketing and other awareness campaigns.

The idea is to de-couple coding with dry tech chores, and instead show how the skill is vital to everythingmovie-making to helping cure malaria.

Although the tech field has seen the ascent of late of stars such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, there is a glaring lack of female equivalents to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, says Clinton, who works for both the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.

"It's hard to imagine being something you can't see," says Clinton, noting that the number of women graduating with computer-science degrees has droppednearly 40% in the '80s to 14% today. "The issue of role models is a big one, and (Made with Code) represents a new, comprehensive effort to provide just that."

Though Clinton says time is of the essence with this pressing national jobs issue, there are precedents that provide a hopeful picture: "Medicine used to be entirely male dominated, but slowly that was turned around, and the same can happen here."

Ruthe Farmer, of the National Center for Women and Information Technology, says the shift can't happen soon enough.

"It's been a five-alarm fire for some time now, ever since Bill Gates told Congress decades ago that if we didn't fix education he wouldn't be able to hire their kids," says Farmer, who is speaking at the Google event. "We need a wider swath of kids to come into this field. But why not focus on the majority of college graduates: women?"

By the year 2020, there will be 1.4 million programming-related jobs but only about a quarter of qualified candidates available to fill those roles, according to Code.org, which lobbies for the discipline to be taught more widely in schools.

Those who are qualified tend to be men, as evidenced by a far-from-surprising Google report last month noting its workforce was 70% male. LinkedIn recently revealed its rosters were 61% male, and more than half are white.

Kaling, who is of Indian decent, jokes that "as a very nerdy, indoor kid, I would have been a candidate for coding, but instead I sat around a wrote plays." She says that making coding accessible and fun can help overturn the stereotype that coding isabout boys and video game-making.

"I always felt tech stuff was for boys, but clearly that's not the case," she says. "This is a cultural thing, and we've got to overcome it."

Brittany Wegner, 19, will be a freshman at Duke University next fall, focusing on the intersection of computer science and biology. Although she was the only girl in her Florida middle school's coding course, her teacher was an inspirational woman — a gift she hopes to repay by speaking to the assembled high school students.

"I think many girls just think of coding and gaming, but I'm using it to work on breast cancer diagnostics," says the Sarasota, Fla., native. "It's important for girls to feel empowered and passionate about this skill. It's not just about math, there's a lot of creative thinking involved in coding."

Wegner recalls attending a United Nations session awhile backHillary Rodham Clinton spoke about the need for women to increase their presence in traditionally male-dominated professions.

"It's exciting to live in a day and age when we're finally realizing that the skills and viewpoints of women in computer science will only enhance the field as a whole," she says. "We need to be involved."

Aspiring journalist Gaston may already have the coding bug. The Central Park East student has already taught herself the basics.

"I thought it would be difficult, but it really wasn't," she says with a laugh. "A lot of my girlfriends seem to be curious. I guess that's a good thing." 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Google dealt massive blow in Canada regarding search

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The Canadian Supreme Court has put Google on its heels, ruling that search results must be scrubbed clean all over the globe. In a case that had one company asking that Google remove search results of a rival, the courts ruled that those results must be banished the world over, not just Canada. It’s an odd precedent, and one that could have a lasting snowball effect.

It goes like this: One company is trying to stop another from selling network devices, claiming they are using stolen trade information. Part of that lawsuit insists Google remove links to the Defendants 300+ websites, where they’re selling the devices. Pretty thorough for the Plaintiff, but the Supreme Court has taken it a step further.

The highest court has granted a temporary injunction, saying that within 14 days, Google must remove links to the company’s sites. Not only must they do so for Canada, but the court has ruled that Google must do so in every country. The links will have disappeared from search, no matter where you do it from.

Google has resisted the ruling, saying that doing so would effectively push Canadian decisions on foreign soil. Canada is not phased, and wants Google to adhere to their decision.

It’s a slippery slope Google is on. Allow a court to abolish links to a company, and others may creatively follow. Countries ban social outlets during struggles; could that lead to religious fingerprints on Google search? If a court can rule that a company be banned from search, can another rule similarly on religious/political matters?